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John Oxx’s Born To Sea faces six rivals as he bids to keep his unbeaten record intact at Leopardstown on Sunday.

The juvenile has plenty of pressure on his shoulders as a half-brother to the yard’s wonder horse Sea The Stars whose stunning career featured victories in the 2000 Guineas, the Derby and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

While he remains a long way from scaling those heights just yet, Born To Sea made a most encouraging start to his racing career when he won a Curragh Listed race in September and he now tests the water at Group Three level.

Oxx’s stable jockey, Johnny Murtagh, is aware the youngster has plenty to live up to, but feels he has all the attributes to progress into an exciting horse in his own right.

“I’m looking forward to riding him again.” Murtagh said.

“There has obviously been a lot of hype about him because of who is brother is but he’s got plenty of ability as well.

“He’s looked a smart horse since day one, he’s always been very natural and he’s a good mover.

“He won nicely first time and has had a nice break since, so we’ll see how we get on.

“He probably wouldn’t want the ground as testing as it is at the moment, but I suppose that will be the same for them all.”

Oxx has always stressed he does not expect Born To Sea to emulate his brother, and remains keen to take a cautious approach.

“We had him ready to run (prior to his debut) but he hadn’t had too much experience on the grass before that,” the trainer told At The Races.

“It was a slowly run six furlongs (1200m) with a bit of a sprint at the end, so he did well to quicken up past them.

“It’s early days. Obviously there was always going to be a bit of attention on him, but we never expected the brother to Sea The Stars would be as good as him.”

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